Box Office: ‘Nope’ Makes Contact With Projected $44.5 Million Opening

Jordan Peele’s “Nope” is successfully sending a message to moviegoers: get out… and go to theater.

The Universal release is expected to net a $44.5 million opening this weekend, marking Peele’s third consecutive film to debut at the top slot of the domestic box office.

The first indication that “Nope” might just be a summer box office hit came from its Thursday previews, which brought in a strong $6.4 million. Early projections saw the sci-fi horror film making $45 million to $60 million by the end of its opening weekend. The film is coming in a hair under those estimates.

“Nope” is projecting a debut a notch above Peele’s debut, 2017’s “Get Out,” which opened to $33.7 million, but a good deal lower than Peele’s previous film, 2019’s “Us,” which opened to $71.1 million. Both films wound up totaling about $255 million worldwide. To match that milestone, “Nope” will have to rely on solid word-of-mouth in the weeks ahead.

“Nope” carries a production budget of $68 million, a good deal higher than the $4.5 million and $20 million figures that “Get Out” and “Us” respectively possessed.

Even with the larger financial burden, “Nope” looks to make a decent profit. How the film’s word-of-mouth stands will be better inferred after its second weekend performance, though it isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. Research firm Cinema Score assigned a “B” grade to “Nope,” indicating a not entirely enthusiastic reaction from general moviegoers. Even so, a more middling Cinema Score grade isn’t uncommon for the horror genre.

Beyond that “Nope” remains a rather buzzy title, buoyed by strong support from critics. Peele’s film currently holds an 84% approval rating from top critics on the aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman was so-so on the film, writing that “Nope” “is a tantalizingly creepy mixed bag of a sci-fi thriller” in which “anticipation works better than the payoff.”

From Oscar-winning writer-director Peele, “Nope” stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun in a story of horse-wrangler siblings who make an unsettling, out-of-this-world discovery.

 

More to come…

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